U.S. perishables exporters eye a better crop, but trade barriers may give them the pip

U.S. perishables exporters eye a better crop, but trade barriers may give them the pip

By Ian Putzger

Eager to put a disappointing 2018 harvest behind them, U.S. produce shippers are preparing for a strong crop this year – but it is as yet unclear who will buy it.  After California’s peach harvest kicked off, hopes are high for a strong season for stone fruit grown in the state. Peach and nectarine volumes are expected to rise above average and apricots are going strong, while plums should see a medium-sized crop this year. (more…)

Canada stuck in middle of elephantine clash of civilizations

Canada stuck in middle of elephantine clash of civilizations

By Keith Norbury

When two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers. Jia Wang, Deputy Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, invokes that African proverb to describes Canada’s position in a tariff turf war between the world’s economic elephants — China and the U.S. “In a way, Canada is like that grass,” said Ms. Wang, who was born and raised in China but has been a Canadian resident for 16 years. “It’s caught in between these big global economic superpowers and if for some reason the trade situation worsens, I think on balance it’s not going to be good for Canada.” (more…)

Canada-China relations the worst since Tiananmen

Canada-China relations the worst since Tiananmen

By Keith Norbury

The trade relationship between Canada and China is the worst it’s been in decades, according to experts who have studied the machinations of trade between the two nations. “No doubt, Canada-China relations are at a very low point,” said Jia Wang, Deputy Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “Probably one of the lowest points since the Tiananmen incident in 1989.”

The impetus for the deteriorating relationship was the arrest in Vancouver of a senior executive with state-owned Chinese electronics giant Huawei. Meng Wanzhou, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, has been in custody since her arrest on December 1 at the behest of the United States Department of Justice. The U.S. is seeking to extradite her on charges that a Huawei subsidiary allegedly committed bank and wire fraud charges that violated sanctions against Iran. On March 1, the Canadian government announced it would hold an extradition hearing. (more…)

Opinion – Let’s think carefully about the future of Canada’s Defence industries

Opinion – Let’s think carefully about the future of Canada’s Defence industries

Theo van de Kletersteeg

Prime Minister Trudeau is trying to pull Canada out of a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, he said on several occasions near the end of 2018, following allegations that suggest Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince was implicated in the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. “We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” he told CTV, without elaborating. The deal, worth US$14 billion over 14 years, if all options are exercised, and including spare parts, support and training, would supply the Saudi military with light armoured vehicles (LAVs) manufactured by General Dynamics Canada Land Systems Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. General Dynamics Corporation. The contract is the largest Defence export contract Canada has ever entered into. The PM’s comments represent an evolution in Ottawa’s stance toward Saudi Arabia. In March of 2018, he defended the deal for the armoured vehicles, saying that honouring the contract, which was made under a previous government, “fully meets our national obligations and Canadian laws.” Canada’s arms export laws prevent the sale of weapons to countries that “pose a threat to Canada and its allies, that are involved in or under imminent threat of hostilities, that are under United Nations Security Council sanctions; or whose governments have a persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens.” The last provision includes an exemption for countries where “it can be demonstrated that there is no reasonable risk that the goods might be used against the civilian population.” (more…)

Ports Asset Transfer Program reduces number of Transport Canada-administrated marine facilities

By R. Bruce Striegler

As we reported in a June 2015 issue of Canadian Sailings, the mission of the federal government’s Ports Asset Transfer Program (PATP) was to expedite the transfer of Transport Canada-administrated port facilities across the country to other federal departments, provincial governments, First Nations and local communities as well as individuals or private corporations. This national collection of marine facilities has been accumulated by Transport Canada over the decades, and includes ports, docks, breakwaters as well as upland and submerged real property. Federal ownership of some of these properties goes back to the time of Confederation. (more…)

Celebrating 30 years of compensating victims of oil pollution

By Anne Legars

After the Torrey Canyon (1967), Arrow (1970) and Irving Whale (1970) oil pollution disasters, the public demanded greater accountability for polluters whose ships caused oil pollution. At the time, there was no adequate mechanism to ensure victims of oil pollution would be compensated. This led to the creation of the Marine Pollution Claims Fund (MPCF), which was essentially a fund of last recourse.

In 1989, legislative amendments changed MPCF into the Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF), making it a fund of first and last recourse for the victims of oil pollution damage from ship sources in Canadian waterways (including Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone), and aligning the Canadian regime to international conventions. (more…)